Access to real-time information through board software is always an advantage especially for boards. Directors armed with the latest data can make timely decisions and formulate relevant strategies applicable to the immediate situation at hand. But without access to the freshest information as it becomes available, directors will not be able to adjust their plans accordingly to accommodate last-minute developments. By the time they do make the adjustments, the changes may no longer be relevant because yet another development has taken place. Though information turnover isn’t necessarily this fast all the time, the fact that it can happen unexpectedly calls for preparation.
To illustrate the power of real-time information and the importance of harnessing it, let’s take a look at the FIFA World Cup. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like sports have much to do with business, but there’s a lot to be learned from the way brands are using the tournament to their advantage.
Keeping an eye out for opportunity
The FIFA World Cup takes place only once every four years, so when it does happen, the world’s attention is focussed on this month-long tournament showcasing the best football talents of 32 competing countries. Because of the popularity of smartphones and tablets, people aren’t just watching the matches on their televisions — they’re also reading news stories, interacting with other fans, sharing content, and even creating their own content on their mobile devices. This is called the second screen experience, a practice which refers to the use of a mobile device to get an enhanced viewing experience for content viewed on another device, usually a television. With millions of people tuned in to their televisions and their gadgets, any exciting development on the screen becomes the talk of the online world in real time. As it turns out, watching the World Cup has never been this interactive or engaging.
Brands, recognising the marketing potential behind this increase in interaction and engagement, have taken it upon themselves to be right where the action is. Listerine, a sponsor of the World Cup, went as far as setting up real-time newsrooms in New York and London to track the tournament and to create content based on events as they unfold.
Seizing the moment as it happens
As this is the World Cup, interesting events are bound to occur sooner or later, and one did take place when Uruguayan player Luis Sanchez bit Italian player Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder at the height of the Uruguay-Italy match. Within minutes, the biting incident became a trending topic on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. From serious articles addressing Suarez’ possible motives to funny cartoons parodying the bite, an abundance of content about this event popped up all over the Internet.
It didn’t take long for social media marketing to ride the wave; different brands were quick to make impromptu ads centered around the controversy. Out of all those that appeared around that time of the incident, the one that made the biggest impact is Snickers’. Their cheeky tweet and poster about how a Snickers chocolate bar is more satisfying than Italian became viral in its own right, garnering tens of thousands of retweets and its fair share of news coverage. Did Snickers succeed in their marketing tactic? You bet they did.
Utilising the power of technology
Snickers and other brands who released their own real-time ads wouldn’t have been successful if they hadn’t been closely following the World Cup and the trends branching out from it — and if they hadn’t acted on the information they gathered. Now, this opens up an interesting question boards should seriously think about: If brands can do so much from even a little bit of real-time information, what more can boards do if they have complete access to the latest documents of their organisations at any given time?
Boards are responsible for making decisions and formulating strategies, but for these decisions and strategies to be effective, directors need to get the latest information to make timely actions. Let’s look at American retail chain Target’s security breach at the end of 2013 as an example. Target received heavy criticism for not responding to the threat in a quick manner, causing them to fail in effective risk management and customer data protection. According to news reports, Target missed multiple warnings which would have prevented the breach had they been heeded on time. But Target didn’t act on these alarm signals, and as a result, the company suffered losses, both in profits and top leaders.
Access and action go hand in hand. It’s up to directors to do what should be done, but it’s the board software’s job to deliver the information they need. Fortunately, finding board software that is a good fit with your organisation is the easier part. Good board portal software provides directors instant access to the latest versions of meeting files, so wherever they may be, they can stay updated on all developments happening in their organisation, whether expected or unexpected. All they need is a mobile device and Internet connection, and they’re set. But even when they’re offline, they can still view downloaded documents, so they don’t have to be reliant on the Internet at all times.
Board portal software also facilitates real-time collaboration. Directors can go online and work on documents together, enabling them to make critical and time-sensitive decisions even if they happen to be miles apart. Emergency meetings can be called anytime as well because directors can join remotely, eliminating the need for them to be physically together in one room. In terms of security, good board portal software uses enterprise-grade encryption to keep information in storage and transmission safe from unauthorised access, so both remote meetings and virtual collaborative sessions are safe spaces in which directors are free to talk about confidential matters.
With such a powerful tool as board software, directors will have everything they need at the palm of their hand — literally. This is a good way to empower directors, and also to make them accountable for their actions.
For board software that does everything mentioned above, try out Convene, our multi-platform board portal solution for iOS and Android devices. Convene is not only efficient and secure, but also usable, providing directors the best user experience they can ever expect in a board portal solution.